Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics


Background: Quality is an important aspect of the conduct of sample surveys, but often the need for timely results, generated within a specified budget, can become the overriding imperative. When sample surveys are considered from a quality perspective two major dimensions need to be considered; measurement and representativeness. In ongoing data collections there is a third dimension; the impact dimension that includes timeliness, sensitivity and responsiveness, flexibility and coherence, comparability, accessibility and usefulness.

Aims and objectives: To consider important research issues for ongoing population health surveys in Australia including: (i) the diminishing coverage of landline phone frames because of mobile-only phone users; (ii) having consistent criteria and standards to enable comparisons between collections; and (iii) how system approaches to ongoing collection and management improves timeliness, sensitivity, responsiveness, flexibility, coherence, comparability, accessibility and usefulness of the data and (iv) how well the current total survey error framework captures that.

Methods: The research was undertaken mainly using the ongoing NSW Population Health Survey. This included (i) inclusion of mobile phone numbers into the NSWPHS, (ii) applying the AAPOR definitions to the NSWPHS, (iii) application of a data management and reporting system to the NSWPHS, (iv) collection of self-reported and measured height and weight in the NSAOH, comparisons between the NSWPHS and the NATSIHS and an examination of total survey error framework.

FoR codes (2008)

010401 Applied Statistics, 111711 Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.